Moving Overseas Online Business Passive Income Australia/NZ

Passive Income – Leaving Australia – the Practicalities

OK I have confession – although I love travelling I bloody hate packing – and leaving a country is like the worst packing in the world because everything has to go or be shipped. We have only been here two years – why we have so much crap is beyond me! Oh and its Christmas so we are into the usual social round of Christmas – Australia style. i.e. lots of drinking and eating really. Oh and the weather has suddenly come good so I would rather be swimming to be honest!

Rottnest Island, Perth, WA
Rottnest Island, Perth, WA

Does this have anything to earning passive income – well it seems that working from home is a bit like being the stay-at-home mum/wife – you get to do all the running around. Partner went to work today I spent 3 hours selling the car – successfully but still. And then I came home and cancelled the insurance and arranged the rental car – which I will pick up tomorrow.  Over the last few weeks I have found us a sub-let for the first two months home – our house is still rented to tenants – arranged for the New Zealand car to go to the garage, though it did apparently get started after two years of sitting – impressive! Cancelled the power, cancelled the phone/Internet and generally run around.

So if you think you have this online business sorted out and want to get out to see the world, with your new independence I seriously suggest the follow strategy:

  • sell everything;
  • if you think you can’t bare to part with it see point above;
  • if you need it rent it: car, house, whatever.

If you are planning on travelling with your business: don’t plan on getting any work done a week both sides of the move – if you do it will be a nice bonus. The month before you move plan on losing at least a few days with the annoying admin details I’ve mentioned above.

Must Haves for Moving Country Easily and Keeping Your Business Going

  • Think about where your Paypal account is linked to. You can’t move a paypal account to another country-  you have to close it and re-open it.  There is however nothing stopping you retaining an Australian bank account with an overseas address – so this is a loophole – which at least means that you take your time moving the account.
  • Have a location independent email address – NEVER get caught up with using your ISP’s email address – use your own domain or a free yahoo or gmail account.
  • I’ve now done the same thing with my  phone number – I have a SkypeIn number which looks like a local New Zealand number, costs around Euro40/year and I can answer anywhere in the world, without  the caller realising I am not in the country!
  • Have your important files backed up – just in case the laptop doesn’t survive the airline!
  • Think about leaving a bank account behind – its the easy way to receive refunds for bonds and car insurance after you have gone – you can always electronically transfer the balance out after you leave. If you are using this bank account for payments from affiliates such as Adsense – remember to change them BEFORE you close the account be aware you will have to do this several months in advance.
  • Let your online contacts know that you are heading  off and might fall of the great Interweb for a  little while – that’s from around the 20 Dec for about 10 days if I get unlucky re connections being promised just before Xmas in New Zealand.

Leaving Australia Count Down

  • Give notice to the phone company and power company. In Perth the power company , Synergy, will send you final bill overseas, the Phone company has always billed us electronically so the email stays the same.
  • Cancel any subscriptions you might have picked up along the way.
  • Start advertising what may be saleable, decide where you are going to give it to if you don’t sell: we took cents in the dollar for a lot of books rather than spend time selling them individually – we took the lot to the second hand shop. We will do
  • The rental agent is some sort of clean demon – I have never cleaned the tops of doors I own never mind those of a rental – apparently it has to be done, ditto the carpet cleaning – I’m hiring someone to do both – too hard for me!
  • Selling a car varies dramatically state by state – in Western Australia – its buyer beware there is no requirement for a mechanical check before sale – the paperwork is available online and you then just mail the sellers portion back with the buyers details included.  Gumtree is the local equivalent of Craig’s List and worked for the car!
  • The airlines have got tough on overweight luggage – instead we will ship our overweight bags via air freight a day or two before we fly and even with $80 worth of fixed charges the $3.50/kg is a lot more attractive that $10/kg Qantas charges! You do need to collect the stuff from the receiving airport.

Some link love – must be Christmas or something:

Todd has restyled his blog to being all about Home Business Tips – nice new look Todd and solid advice about not changing domains every 5 minutes – you can get ANY url to rank for a term with enough backlinks – this blog being a case in point.

My Prague friend  – Hospitalera – is after one of the most obscure anchored links I’ve ever come across Oes tsetnoc – I thought it was some weird Czeck term – even I know enough it wasn’t German – but I was wrong, check her link to find out what its all about.

Free Tools Lis Recommmends Online Business Product Reviews Tools

I joined the cloud – do me a favour and join too!

I joined the Cloud! You know cloud computing, personal PCs are so 2008 and now everyone lives in the cloud – well that’s what the Economist said a week or two back so it must be true.  Seriously though – I have just migrated all my important files onto an online backup system and I think you should too.

(cc) Kenneth Yeung -
(cc) Kenneth Yeung -

I am seriously old and remember when hard drives broke – a lot! I remember when tape backups took hours and hours to restore your files – and then you discovered that the tape was corrupt …  Lets just say telling someone the file they have been working of for weeks is unrecoverable is not something you want to have to do too often in one lifetime.

Now I do have a backup system- I have a portable hard drive which I back up to on a hmm semi-regular basis – and always before the laptops go travelling. But I was becoming more and more aware just how stuffed my business would be if I lost some crtical files.

I have a client who raves about googledocs and I use googledocs from time-to-time – quite honestly if that is what the future is I’d say bring back the quill pen – clunky, slow – unattractive. Not impressed at all. Anyway I don’t really want to work on my files from a remote location – I just want them backed up and safe from me and hardware disasters, or even the theft of laptop. I am also moving back to an earthquake prone country – having an onsite backup is less than useful in those circumstances too.

So I vaguely knew I should do something about an online backup and when surfing around I came across a review of dropbox. Now I read the review but didn’t go with dropbox – entirely because with dropbox you can only share one folder – I had 2 distinct folders I knew needed backup and didn’t really want to rearrange my hard drive to accomodate this program. Instead I signed up with SugarSync and I am loving it.  I have one small problem though – I have a free account which gives 2GB of space – that was enough for the important stuff – but not for my photos. 🙁

My photos need your help – but its a win-win situation.

Sign up for a free account using the above link and you will get a free 2GB account with an extra 250MB just for using my link. I will get an extra 250MB too – so that’s a classic win/win. If you have a whole lot of files and need 30GB then still use the link (you can try for free for 30 days the bigger plan or upgrade from the free account later) – and you will get an extra 5GB free (and me too).  The 30GB costs $5/month $50/year.

How it works is that you nominate which folders you want synced and then sugarsync starts uploading them – it took a few hours on my connection – but it just worked away in the background. Once synced then as you make changes on files it automatically syncs files to the cloud.

Now regardless of whether you are running a multi-million dollar online passive income business empire, a small online business, or just have a whole lot of family photos and boring stuff like tax records on your computer. You really should be backing those files up somewhere, and if you live somewhere that  computers get stolen, houses burn down, earthquakes/cyclones/floods etc happen – you shouldn’t have that backup in the same building or even town as your main computer.

Now I basically use only one computer but if you regularly filesharing between mutliple computers/blackberries,/iPhones whatever then SugarSync could really make life easier by automatically syncing files between different devices. All too complex for me but I have to say the straight archive thing works like a charm. Also once your files are uploaded you can access them directly from a web browser if you are away from home.  Oh and you can stream music/video too if that’s important to you as well  (not that I’ve tried). And apparently it works on Macs too.

So I am sure you could waste hundreds of hours working out which is the best online archive system – or just sign-up for SugarSync – it works for me and if you sign up and save your important files along the ways you will improve my photo’s earthquake survival odds (must admit I have no idea where Sugarsync keeps their servers but I am pretty sure its not Wellington, New Zealand!

Adsense HubPages

Warning From Adsense!

I think a few people at HubPages recently have had warning emails from Adsense – in censorshippart the email goes something like this:

While reviewing your account, we noticed that you are currently displaying
Google ads in a manner that is not compliant with our policies. For
instance, we found violations of AdSense policies on pages such as
Please note that this URL is an example and that the same violations may
exist on other pages of your website.

As stated in our program policies, AdSense publishers are not permitted to
make prominent use of “Google Brand Features” on sites displaying Google
ads. This includes any sites that attempt to create a false association
with Google or use Google trademarks in the URL.

So apparently you can’t use Adsense or Google in urls – note this was just in the end part of the url as well not actually the domain name. Not on a site which uses Adsense anyways. I’m not the only one to have been affected on HubPages and the Hub support team suggested I unpublish or change the url’s on any hub which contained “google” or “adsense”.

So I did – about a month ago – and now they are all gone from the cache  now they – are back right here on this site – which does not, never has, and will never run Adsense! Unfortunately I have lost the comments – which as usual on hubpages were useful – anyway here is the text!

Adsense Placement on HubPages

This never made me a lot of Adsense – but it ranked pretty well because it had so organic links – oh well. Useful information if you want to know why you have a single digit click thru rate on your hubs.

SEO Google Explains How to Do It

I went through the latest Google Webmaster guidelines and applied the “official” “suggestions” to hubpages.

How to Earn $1000 a Month with Adsense

Obviously sarcasm doens’t work with Adsense employees! This was actually the hub they named as in breach of their TOS! I must admit though I made a few dollars because yes  I was triggering plenty of get rich quick Adsense ads and the odd idiot did indeed click on them!

Photo Credit

Making Money Online Online Business

Is It Worth Trying to Make an Income Online?

I quite often get people emailing me because they saw my semi-illiterate ramblings somewhere on the Interwebs. I had another one recently which asked – “are my efforts going to be worth it?” – or in other words – is worth trying to make an income online?

What I wrote back was – in part:

I can’t tell you whether your efforts are worth it? What are your income goals/what’s your time frames/ do you have financial support on the learning curve? What are your cost of living? To be honest I would never have made this a full-time income if I was doing it part-time – the motivation wouldn’t have been there  and I would be too burnt out after working for someone else all day.

Full-time though has its issues though  – I now tell people they should have enough savings for 2 years living expenses if they are contemplating doing this full-time.  Then there is the isolation of doing this alone (that’s driven more than one person I know back to employment), the sheer frustration of seeing a site take up to a year to settle down and be a consistent earner.

For me going back to a well paid professional job would be purgatory – but that’s just me! I’m 47 and my partner is 57 so I am looking for something that will support us both in “retirement” – and pretty much and am at that level now. I’m not satisfied with that – but I am sure this is what I will be doing for some time to come.  As recently as 6 months ago I was only semi-seriously saying “I was playing on the interwebs” when asked what I did. I still don’t know what to call what I do online to friends – but I do know its definitely worth it for me – your mileage may vary though 🙂

I had a particularly good freelance payment into my Paypal overnight – and when I logging in to transfer the money (don’t ever leave large sums in Paypal BTW people) – it occurred to me to check and yes since the start of the tax year, 1 July in  Australia, I had now earned enough to start making sure I make some provision for paying tax  –  that made me smile quite broadly and caught my partner’s attention (probably because his contract finishes in 6 weeks). Oh and don’t bother dropping a comment about how paying tax is awful – paying tax means you are making money what’s bad about that?

Yeah I look like a success right – but as recently as March I made a grand total of $141 from Adsense and affiliate sales –  Iwas pissed off, frustrated and guilty for living of my partner’s income. I thought long and hard about what I could do instead of this game of trying to make an income online. I came up with two:

  • I could get a job in IT or geology;
  • I could retrain – probably at university – but I couldn’t think of anything I wanted to do

and I didn’t want a job. Fuck it – I’d just have to make this work. And oddly enough from the day on I have made more and more money 🙂  Not every month do I make more than the previous month, sometimes Adsense is up, sometimes affiliates are down, sometimes freelancing pays really well. Swings and roundabouts – but they don’t make me question what I will be doing in 6 months or 6 years.


I will still be making an online income – because its basically the single best option for me. Here’s why:

  • its location independent. I’ve always lived to travel, now so long as the country has a reliable power supply and Internet (and that removes surprisingly little of the world) I can live there an earn an income;
  • I don’t answer to a boss. I really have a problem with authority, particularly with stupid authority – my definition of stupid can be a little too broad for many bosses to handle;
  • Its not boring – the whole game of working out how to persuade the search engines I am the best – that’s an ever changing game complete with deliberate obfuscation and an ever changing landscape of competitors and (unseen) rules – I find it fascinating. No real world job has held my attention for more than 18 months – after that I generally know all I care to know about that particular organisation!
  • I hate to have my life down to organised 1/2 hour intervals. I hate having to plan my lunch hours so I have the time to go to dentist or meet someone for lunch;
  • I don’t have to get dressed in the mornings, when I get dressed its neither business casual, or even smart casual – its down right comfortable and scruffy.;
  • In short working online gives me freedom to be who and what I am – without having to conform to some truely irritating social norms!

On the downside there are negatives but I for me they are far outweighed by the positives:

  • Income goes down as well as up. I finally started to make some decent dollars with eBay – the month they changed their program and threw me back to the cents/day level 🙂 I used to have a salary – I knew what I would be earning – to the cent months in advance. Now I can be up or down 20% a month just like that;
  • The work you do today will see you paid months or even years down the line- there is a complete disconnect between this month’s work and this month’s earnings – of course this can be good too – if you are on holiday!
  • I don’t make as much as I used to – true my expenses have gone down – but still I want to make more – its taking longer than the 3 months I thought it would when I started over 2 years ago – but it will happen.
  • Working from home is isolating. Now I never thought I was such a loser that I went to work to make friends and meet people – but I did miss it, a little.
  • Working from home can be a disaster in terms of weight loss if you are not careful you will put on a lot of weight – thought you had a sedentary desk job before – at least you had to leave the house walk to the car,  and then walk from the car to the office at the other end! I seriously suggest that if you are doing this full-time that you take some dancing classes or something else to keep your body working!
  • I have absolutely no idea to describe what I do for a living – my current line is “I work for Google” – I’ll see how that goes!

So is it worth it trying to make an online income? For me – absolutely! But for you – I don’t know. Its certainly been the single most frustrating and annoying few years of my life. I’ve given up twice, but third time lucky – I figure. How about you – what drives your dream to making money online?

Photo Credit

Freelance Writing Online Business Paid Tools Product Reviews Tools

Need to Make Online Cash Now? Consider a Freelancing Business

superstar250Yup you read that right- if you are desperate to make an income right now. You have been told your job ends in two weeks and you don’t know how you will make next month’s mortgage repayments – then making passive income online won’t help you – yet.

I have been playing this website building game for two years – my income still fluctuates – I wrote that in July I had made $2000 online– I am yet to get past that approximate figure again – in fact my passive income was significantly down in October – but overall I was up because of a domain sale and some more freelance work. It swings-and-roundabouts – it doesn’t make me lose sleep at night. But it might – soon. My partner’s contract finishes at Christmas and we are moving back to New Zealand. My income suddenly becomes our only income – at least for a while – the pressure is definitely noticeable i.e. my partner now asks every month how I am doing LOL – see partners are interested when the money starts rolling in – or not!

So what do you do if you really,really need the income and you need it quickly? Well I’ve written about my Plan B previoulsy Another option is developing either a part or full time freelancing business.  Almost everyone has a skill they can sell online – be it writing, photography, designing websites, installing blogs. For a  lot of online beginners the skill is writing – we can all write right? So off you head to the usual forums or article writing content mills – and then you discover you are competing against people who will write a 400 word article for $1. You stop, you get depressed, you declare loudly to anyone who will listen that globalisation is evil, you can’t compete against the hoards of English-speakers living in third world countries writing for peanuts. You quit and get a job cleaning – well that’s what I did anyways. I found it all too hard and to be honest, I found that my writing skills were OK, but my procrastination skills were champion!

My friend Monika Mundell from sunny Queensland didn’t quit though. She kept on at it – she was desperate to get out of the hospitality industry with its Gordon Ramsey egos and unsociable hours. She persevered with freelance writing. She lives in Queensland, Australia – so a lot of the paying sites were not available to her (they don’t allow non-US-based writers). She had to find her own clients. And she is not an English native speaker. Two years later she is a successful online writer and internet marketer.

She has finally written the book Freelance SuperStar which explains how to reproduce her success. You just send $1000 to her email address and she will send you the secret to becoming a successful writer without doing any work…. OK sorry, not quite: bottom line this book a) costs money and b) will involve you doing a lot of work. Its also a step-by-step that anyone can use to launch a freelance business, if they do the work that is.

Freelance Superstar is focused on freelance writing – but you could use it get work in any related online field: programming, WordPress setup and customisation, SEO whatever. According to their own sales copy:

“The Freelance Superstar guide is a product aimed at new freelance writers and intermediate entrepreneurs who currently struggle to earn a decent income. The very affordable purchase price of USD 37 can easily be earned back if you follow my instructions in the guide. The idea is to start a business from scratch with little upfront expenses (You can get earning by spending less than $100 and this includes the guide).”

So what do you get for your US$37?

  • the 65 page eBook
  • WordPress templates for developing your own Portfolio site
  • email templates you can use to solicit for clients
  • sample writing agreements you can copy and use
  • step-by-step blogging video tutorials

This is review is only of the eBook – I have read the pre-release version of the ebook – but haven’t seen the other content. The images of the WordPress templates looked pretty cool though I imagine they would work just fine for anyone wanted to get started in business as soon as.

What I liked about the Freelance SuperStar eBook

  • nice clear layout of the ebook – type large enough to read easily but not so big I know you are artificially inflating the word count;
  • it focused on the important stuff: the chapter titled “Setting Up Your Office” had me worried – feng shui’ed interior design maybe, a quiet, private space as a pre-requisite to your business. Nope – a computer, an Internet connection, a chair and desk are nice to haves. Starting on the kitchen table is not a good reason not to start!;
  • from there on it got practical: from the basics: how to develop a develop writing samples, how to set up your own portfolio site, how to find a niche. how to set your rates. More advanced topics included are  how to manage clients, how to market your business, how to manage practical stuff like invoices, how to grow your business using outsourcing and other methods. Unless you are totally new to being online some of this will be known to you – but I found stuff I didn’t know. I partically like Monika’s practical approach to using  social media without it taking over your life.
  • review of 10 freelance bidding sites include pros/cons and costs involved- worth the price of the book alone in my opinion this could literally save you months of frustration of getting your business up and running. You can, and i have, spent days/weeks reading forum after forum trying to work out which site was best – here Monika has it all laid out in a few pages – value yoru time at $10/hour – you just justified the cost of this book!

What could have been improved

The book includes a 6 month road map chapter with steps to take each month to take your freelancing business from part-time to full-time. Now I liked the content – a lot. But I think the format could be jazzed up a bit – tick boxes, spaces to write notes of your own etc – this is the part of the book I think users should print out and post prominently above their kitchen table. Whether they succeed or fail is really up to following this time line – make it easy for them to do!

There are lots of the normal affiliate tools available – but no 125×125 banner and no non-gif banners? Easy to fix guys – please – not every site allows gifs you know and most blogs run 125 ads …

Who Should Buy Freelance Superstar

  • newcomers to online business who want/need to make several thousands of dollars a month within six months;
  • off-line writers who are trying to figure out what this online writing gig is all about and have just been made redundant from their local newspaper/magazine job;
  • students – journalism or otherwise who need to make a bit of cash on the side. Seriously this type of business is designed to fit the student lifestyle perfectly;
  • stay at home moms/mums who are struggling to make any meaningful money running Adsense on their (or their cat’s) personal blog.  This approach will make you real money in the same tiime you are wasting currently;
  • Internet marketers who are struggling with getting their affiliate income to a stable level and need some extra cash – although the book is written assuming you are starting a freelance business part-time around a real-world job, starting it part-time and/or keeping it part-time to fund your passive income websites will work as well. You never know when Google is going to throw a hissy fit and not like your sites anymore – this is a useful second string to your bow – which may well be more palatble,  than getting a dreaded “real job”.

Who Should NOT Buy Freelance Superstar

  • information junkies who have already bought 3 ebooks this week and read none of them. Well if you really want to give me the commission go ahead but really stop with the information overload and work out what you are actually trying to achieve with your business;
  • anyone who loves to dream the big dreams, and never gets around to the real work. Honestly if you can’t make back the cost of the book within your first month you pretty much bone-idle and you have wasted your money.

Just a note. This is not a paid review – I asked Monika for a review copy and she was kind enough to provide me with one. If you click on one of these links and buy the product I will get an affiliate commission. If I hadn’t thought the product delivered on its sale’s pitch and is a realistic way for pretty much anyone to start earning an online income I wouldn’t have reviewed it.And there’s a 30 day money back guarantee – so no risk on your part. Oh and here’s that low-down affiliate link again: